A high performance racehorse may benefit from alfalfa or mixed alfalfa. A basic hay analysis costs about $20. Alfalfa hay is an excellent source of protein, both in content and quality. There are cereal grain hays too, such as oat or barley hay, which are different nutritionally than typical grass hays, but they also fall under the grass hay … If all the hay is soaked, then some of the soluble trace-mineral, vitamin and salt content can be leached out into the soaking water. Choose one designed for horses (those made for cattle have a bar across the top that can injure horses when they pull back from the hay). ADVERTISEMENT. Feeding Hay to Horses and Ponies. However, because of its high palatability, intake must be restricted to keep horses from overeating and … The Upper Peninsula isn’t the only place where hay is only cut once in mid-summer. By horse-drawn machine: In the 19th century, many machines that could cut hay were invented that could be pulled with horses. Hay dried in the field for at least a day or two–even rained on a bit–is considered safer (i.e., first or second cutting, depending on the year, from the Eastern states). Visit Website. There are many types of hay harvested from grasses including alfalfa, timothy, clover and rye. Horses being maintained, mares in the first two-thirds of gestation, and mature horses working at light or moderate levels can do nicely on immature grass hay. Meadow grass is a longer, softer stemmed grass than Timothy hay. Cutting hay has been, and can be, done in many ways. An equine nutritionist offers advice on the best hay to feed a horse who is at risk of developing laminitis. For horses, grass hay or a legume/grass hay mix is the best choice. If the hay isn't cured properly, if it's handled too much (which causes lots of leaf loss), or if it's rained on, it could be very poor quality. Generally speaking, the second and third cuttings are "best" because first cutting tends to get a bit mature before it gets cut. As grazing animals, research has shown that horses do best when their feeding patterns follow a natural grazing pattern. I think 1st cutting on alfalfa is best since the likelyhood of blister beetles is less. Young foals and mares in the first three months of lactation can benefit by the best legume hay available. Later cuttings may have them in it and they are toxic to horses. Legume hay is also ideal for goats and lambs. The cutting of hay doesn’t matter nearly as much as other factors – like species, maturity at harvest, storage conditions, leafiness, and the presence of contaminants. The adult horse at maintenance should have a Ca to P ratio between 3:1 and 1:1. 1st cutting hay is the first cutting off a field in the spring (obviously!) Alfalfa hay is one of the best hays fed to horses. Dairy cows require the highest quality legume hay to keep up with milk production. Your target is about 30% ADF. Beet pulp is predominantly fibre too, and it is often very high in sugar, depending on the type & brand, so be careful with your advice & feeding your own. Horse hay is best produced using Italian ryegrass with a two year duration. 12lb box of 2 nd cut Timothy hay, which is supplied by Small Pet Select in a breathable box to keep the hay fresh (card keeps sunlight out but allows air to circulate). A number of factors come into play when choosing the right type of hay for your horse. While hay alone may not meet the total dietary requirements of young, growing horses or those used for high levels of performance, high-quality hay may supply ample nutrition for less active adult horses. Smorgasbord of hay and grain for horses Flickr.com - Smerikal. The top plastic frame aids in loading hay, while the adjustable hanging strap has snaps at both ends to close the top of the bag. In some regions of the world, alfalfa hay is all that is available and is therefore the most economical choice. The best way to determine the feed you choose will provide fiber of a similar type to the fiber in hay is to call the manufacturer and ask what the ADF, or acid detergent fiber, level is. We get brome and prairie grass hay in this part of the country. So I asked when you should cut hay. Alfalfa hay is one of the best legume hays fed to horses. This will give maximum yield of very clean material and can be a very profitable crop. Mites … Alfalfa hay, sometimes called lucerne hay, is the most popular legume hay fed to horses in the U.S., while timothy and orchard are popular grass hay choices. By hand: For thousands of years, hay was cut with hand-held tools like a scythe. Tough-1 Mini Web Hay Feeder, $25.49. Alfalfa Hay. Young horses predisposed to growth problems. Heather Smith Thomas - 06/26/2020 Nutrition. Some specialists even prefer to grow a new ley every year. Most horses will readily consume alfalfa hay. It is highly palatable. Teff is a warm-season annual grass that is now being grown in many regions of North America for livestock and by commercial hay producers who want a fast-growing, high-yielding crop with good forage quality. As a general rule of thumb, grass hay is best for horses—alfalfa or other legume hay can be an excellent feed to mix with grass hay for animals that need more protein. Hay has been important historically and is still essential today. Hay for Boarded Horses Teff Hay for Horses Field of teff grass hay ready for harvest. The hay is good quality, fragrant and soft. early bloom alfalfa hay, the difference is much smaller than for lower quality hays such as late-maturity grass hays. Q: Which cutting of hay is best for horses? NDF values between 40 and 50 are good for horses. Cutting Hay. Preference of horses for grass conserved as hay, haylage or silage C.E. On the other hand, horses usually don’t require such rich forage. Hay is the best, maybe the only, economic option. It usually has lots of litter in it from the winter--weeds like redstem pigweed is abundant that time of year, cow patties if cattle were wintered on the field, trash that blew in, leaves from the autumn shedding, etc. While pasture may be best, pasture grass may not be adequate during hot weather, drought or winter conditions and this means owners need to feed hay. This class of carbohydrates includes starch, water-soluble sugar, and fructan. Normal horses can tolerate NSC levels of 20% or higher. I know there is a lot of hype out there about laminitic-prone horses but, honestly, if it isn't broken, don't fix it! If hay becomes wet, or if it sits in the sun, nutrients can be lost. This doesn't mean all second or third cutting is better than first though. OMAFRA suggests cutting hay in the morning just after the morning dew is off for better drying. Legumes are higher in protein, energy, calcium, and vitamin A than grass hay. Horses prefer 'hard' hay which is different to 'meadow hay' suitable for other stock. Many types of hay provide enough calories and crude protein to meet the needs of adult horses at maintenance or light work. Our hay guys only do one cutting so don't have a choice. All horses need fiber in their diet and some of it must be the form of long hay. Timothy works best for us, no problems with mites (knock on wood). However, if you want more sugar in your hay OMAFRA suggests cutting hat later in the day. The best time to cut hay is when your hay-field is just about to flower. All horses require supplemental salt to replenish what is lost in sweat. High quality hay can be an excellent source of nutrition for - including protein and calcium - for horses and ponies and is a very palatable feed.. Early maturity hay would be perfect for growing horses and lactating mares, but it may not be the best choice for horses with low nutrient requirements. Also offer both 1 st cut (high fibre) and 3 rd cut (high nutrients) in this range.. Meadow grass hay for rabbits. The “fiber” percentage on the label isn’t what you need to know. Alfalfa hay would not be the best forage for certain groups of horses. Several characteristics of alfalfa make it an excellent hay for horses. Practicality and cost of feeding are always considerations when devising a feeding plan for horses. That is a topic for a whole article. Older horses may have tooth problems that mean they may have trouble with long stem forage like grass hay & if lami prone, the hay may need to be soaked, to reduce sugar. In fact, a steady diet of legume hay can lead to excessive weight gain. Beyond that, even the best hay may be low in certain nutrients, especially minerals. Horses challenged by metabolic syndrome should be offered hays that are low in non-structural carbohydrates or NSC. Horses tend to throw their hay around as they rummage for the good bits, so you’ll need a good 8’ by 8’ of ground cover for your horses feeding area. On farms in more moderate climates where time and labor are in short supply, maximum yield is not essential and top hay quality is not required, a single cut system may be adequate. A high quality cereal grain hay, like oat hay, is preferable to a poor quality alfalfa. ADF values between 30 and 35 percent are good for horses. Have enough round bales to accommodate the number of horses in a given field, and take care to provide new bales as needed so horses always have access to fresh hay. You want the ADF. Best way to combat mites, besides spraying Sevin, is to build the sugar up in your Timothy. Alfalfa is also a good winter feed because heat is created by digestion of protein, so a horse can keep warmer on a cold night. Thanks for watching! Generally, a mixed grass bale will work best for most horses. Even so, hay rarely meets all the needs of any horse. In the case of mature horses, alfalfa forage will certainly provide enough protein to … However, because of its high palatability, intake must be restricted to keep horses … It's not okay to feed just any dried fodder to horses. Best for: Easy keepers, horses in light work (or retired horses), and as a tool to help buffer stomach acid and add roughage without adding too many calories or excess protein. Baling and cutting alfalfa is a whole other topic too. The amount of protein supplied by alfalfa can go a long way toward satisfying the high protein requirements of young growing horses. Use your good judgment when purchasing hay for horses. Later cuttings make great horse hay. Once you’ve determined the best category of hay for your horse, most people select hay based on how it looks, smells and feels. Most 1st cut OG hay is chopped for haylage or made into baleage. First cut lucerne hay with a high C3 grass content must be soaked for high risk horses. The Tough1 feeder slows down your horse’s consumption and reduces wasted hay, while also being stronger than many slow-feeder nets on the market. Optimum horse hay moisture ranges from 10 to 16 percent. Most horses will readily consume alfalfa hay. Cisco Farm Seeds. It's said that hay revolutionized horse care, and man's ability to be mobile. Muller ∗, P. Uden (2007) *Department of Animal Nutrition and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences As can be seen from the table, some nutrients don’t vary much as their levels are determined more by the grass species than the conservation technique. 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